D.C. coopetition

Gadfly's hometown has suddenly turned into education reform nirvana. Last week we reported that competition from charter schools spurred the District of Columbia Public Schools and its teachers union to sign a reform-minded contract. Now comes news that the D.C. Board of Education has approved a plan (first floated in April) whereby the Will Academy (a new KIPP charter school) and Scott Montgomery Elementary (a failing D.C. district school) will share a building, and more. The two schools will work together on curriculum and teacher training, and Montgomery's fourth-grade students (who inhabit the bottom floor) will automatically transfer upstairs to KIPP for fifth through eighth grade. Then, to pile on the good news, the Board of Education took some sensible advice and voted to get out of the business of overseeing charter schools-a role that it had botched for years. With the D.C. Charter School Board-one of the nation's best charter sponsors-ready and willing to ensure charter school quality in the District, this is one case in which a single authorizer is preferable. Washington, D.C.: It's our kind of town.

"Back to Basics," Washington Post, June 21, 2006

"D.C. Charter School Applications Halted," by V. Dion Hayes, Washington Post, June 20, 2006

"Board Approves Alliance Of Public, Charter School," by Sue Anne Pressley Montes, Washington Post, June 15, 2006

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